The Supreme Court has been the least visible branch of the federal government since its inception, yet some argue that, after Chief Justice John Marshall’s Court, it wielded perhaps the majority of the power. The inner workings of the Supreme Court have been somewhat common knowledge for decades, yet it is only lately that those proceedings have truly come to light.
The Information Age and the Internet revolution have brought with them a deeper desire for transparency in government offices. Given the more private nature of the Court, the chambers of the highest office in the judicial branch have become a natural target for scrutiny and monitoring.
Television channels such as C-SPAN devote large blocks of programming to US Supreme Court videos and live feeds, and other networks pick up their broadcasts for large announcements and controversial rulings. The access granted to these news outlets places the Court in the public eye, and engenders trust among the people that Justices are being held accountable for their decisions.
However, there is now and most likely always will be an air of seclusion about the Court. Its official website does offer a few US Supreme Court Videos for public consumption, but the selection is scant. And these videos mainly encompass the hearings alone. Deliberation and discussion still takes place in a closed room, with only the Justices present, as it has since the first Court, and will probably continue in perpetuity.
The Supreme Court is the one branch of government afforded this privacy, since their allegiance must not be to any party or interest, but only to the law itself. They must remain above influence and maintain partiality at all costs, if they are to serve the country and Constitution effectively.